Archive for July, 2010


Relationship management web software from Sugar6

Sugar6 CRM Lets Users View Facebook Profiles of Contacts, But Lacks Authorization July 29th, 2010
By Josh Constine

Sugar CRM’s new customer relationship management web software Sugar6 includes strengthened social network integrations, allowing users to view Facebook profiles from within the product. Facebook vanity URLs or user IDs can be pinned to contact files or added as dashboard feeds, allowing previews of activity on the site. There is no social authorization system within Sugar6, though, so users must log in on on the same web browser and can only see profiles they usually have access to, such as public profiles and friends.

Sugar is one of a number of social CRM software providers, all of whom are trying to help businesses to figure out sales leads and other relationships from existing social data.

Sugar says it is slowly building the infrastructure for a more social CRM tool. In future releases of Sugar, it hope to include automatic syncing of social network data into contacts, data-centric social media monitoring, and the ability to track actions like wall posts and messages to contacts the way they currently track email.

Sugar6 provides a web-based, customizable, open source CRM platform for approximately $30/month/user. While some CRM services like Siebel and Microsoft Dynamics are more rigid, and Salesforce charges for simple customizations after a certain limit, it is free to use Sugar6’s Sugar Studio to create coding-free customizations. Those with PHP skills can even alter the source code to make more drastic changes to the platform. This makes Sugar6 a good choice for users who frequently need to adapt to changes, or whose requirements don’t match that of traditional CRM software.

Contact pages on Sugar6 can be customized to include Facebook Page and profile URLs, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn links. If the user has logged in to Facebook on the same browser, and have access to that contact’s Facebook content —because they are friends, the profile is public, or they have relaxed privacy settings— a custom tab allows a user to view that profile from within Sugar6. This could help a user monitor updates from a business partner’s Page, or see that a lead has left a status update saying they are preparing to make a purchase.

Sugar6’s goal is to eliminate the need for using multiple windows simultaneously to manage relationships. The lack of a native authorization system make this a bit clumsy, but usable. A future release that integrates authorization, auto-syncing, and the ability to interact with Facebook, not just watch it, will finally bridge the gap between the wealth of contact and behavior information available on the social network and the software meant to take advantage of it.


Disney bets on Social Media

By MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — You’ve got to hand it to Walt Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger. He is not afraid to shake up a corporate culture when he spies an opportunity to achieve a higher rate of return for his stockholders.

Disney (DIS 33.77, +0.06, +0.18%) is essentially swapping the movie business — by selling off Miramax for some $660 million — for the bright lights of … social media, by agreeing earlier this week to acquire Playdom, a social-gaming destination on the Internet, for about $563 million.

Presto! Disney said Friday it would sell Miramax to businessman Ron Tutor and his partners, and a new culture is born at Iger’s shop. And it is a good idea, too. The movie business is as volatile as ever. Someone smart like Iger concludes that there is no good reason for a media behemoth to roll the dice time after time on a big-budget extravaganza which fails to make a profit. 

The new media present opportunities and challenges for executives everywhere. In the entertainment industry, brand names matter. More than ever. There are so many platforms available to present content. “Snow White” will be as vital — and potentially lucrative — on some youngster’s iPad (AAPL 258.31, +0.20, +0.08%) as it ever was in a movie theater or on home television.

Social media are increasingly the most exciting developments in the communications industry. Facebook can influence the population’s culture, the economy and politics. Twitter has clout, too.

Disney is shrewd to flex its muscle in this area. Hooray for … social media.

— Jon Friedman


The most advanced hotel – The Dragon

A look at the Dragon Hotel, the most technologically advanced hotel in the world, perhaps.


The Social Media Revolution growth exceed Industrial Revolution?

The growth of social media is incredible. Facebook tops google for weekly traffic, Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the web, 1 out of 8 people married in the US met via social media,etc


Making Your Biz Media Savvy

Making Your Biz Media Savvy
by Romy Ribitzky Jul 29 2010

It’s important not to bombard your Twitter, Facebook, and other social-media platforms just with information about your brand. Rather, find out where people are already talking about a similar product or need and give them information of value.

“Your audience is actively seeking you, or your product, through online research. Make sure you’re active in their arena so you can be found,” says Katherine O’Hara, vice president of New Jersey-based S3, an advertising, media, and public relations firm. “Blogging creates HTML-based text that is tapped by search engines and smiled upon given its constant refreshing of content.”


Why You Need to Monitor and Measure Your Brand on Social Media

Interesting article by Maria Ogneva at Mashable…

Social Media Monitoring
Monitoring (or perhaps the more evocative definition is “listening”) is the process of continuous and immediate discovery of conversations with the purpose of learning, engaging, helping and collaborating. You can do this with anyone, whether it’s your customers, prospects, industry thought leaders, former customers, partners or others. There are also different cues to listen for and different ways to engage. Typically, monitoring has a stronger real-time implication than measurement, as one of the purposes is to track keywords as they appear, with the goal of quick reaction.

How it works: Typically, monitoring is performed on a keywords basis. Relevant keywords include your brand name, product name, etc. Based on your keywords, your monitoring system of choice goes out to the social networks you specify, grabs the relevant articles and messages, and hopefully arranges them for easier digestion and action.
Why it’s important: My favorite analogy for social media is that it’s like the “largest cocktail party in the world.” It’s a room filled with people driven by one desire to communicate, share, digest and relate, while carrying on many independent conversations. Some of these conversations can be about you, your competitors or your industry. Some of these conversations could be people looking for a product like yours. They will talk about all these topics regardless of whether you are listening or not. However, you wouldn’t know any of this if you weren’t listening.
Social Media Measurement
Unlike monitoring, measurement is more concerned with metrics over a specified time period. Whereas monitoring answers the question “Who is talking about [insert keyword] right now and what are they saying?” measurement answers questions of “How did my keywords perform over time?” “How does that compare to my competitors?” and “What are some trends I can glean to make my product more usable by these people who are giving me feedback?”

How it works: Similar to monitoring, your system of choice goes out and looks for articles where that specific combination of keywords occurs. It then tabulates these occurrences and presents them to you in relevant data reports. You need to be able to slice and dice the data by source, date, and other dimensions, as well as drill down to the social media “atom” level — the individual message — if you need to.
Why it’s important: Unless you are immune from management or client accountability, you will probably be expected to provide some metrics that justify your company’s social media marketing or listening program. But that’s only a part of the story. Constant benchmarking is the only surefire way to know if things are working. Social media is a quickly evolving beast, so if you don’t routinely measure and course-correct, you could be marching down the wrong path. The idea is to “fail fast.”


Social Media Growth in England is way up!

This is a great video by SimplyZesty, a UK Social Media firm! Mashable says: “The social media and networking phenomenon is growing extremely fast in the UK. 85 percent of the population is online; they spend over 6 hours on social media sites every month, nearly 60 percent of them read blogs and 64% have their own profile on a social network.”


Mobile Food Vendors Using Social Media

Using social media to distribute information. Incorporating Twitter into their game plan, but also use traditional media including the phone. 10-15% of sales through social.


Harvard Bus School and Columbia Grad are adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula!

Columbia, in New York, offers four Internet marketing courses. Two of them, “Social Media,” taught by Rachel Sterne, chief executive officer of, a global citizen news platform, and “Media and Technology,” taught by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, will be offered for the first time next spring, according to professor Rajeev Kohli, chair of the Columbia marketing division. At Harvard, in Boston, professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski last fall introduced a second-year elective course, “Competing with Social Networks,” and 172 students enrolled—three for every available seat. “Students know these tools are too hard to ignore,” Piskorski says.

Other MBA programs that have added courses that explore social media include London Business School (LBS Full-Time MBA Profile), INSEAD (INSEAD Full-Time MBA Profile), the international business school based in Fontainebleau, France, and the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, known as HEC Paris (HEC Full-Time MBA Profile), according to faculty at the respective schools.
One of the earliest pioneers of Internet marketing courses, Elaine Young, an associate professor of marketing at Champlain College, where social media has been part of the MBA curriculum since 2000, says understanding digital tools is critical for business students. Students who master such tools can add to a company’s bottom line, and improve their chances of getting a job.

“Companies want students to know this stuff,” Young says. “But it’s not just about having a Facebook page. Students have to ask themselves: ‘Do I know how to set up an official Facebook page and run it and engage people on it?’ ”

Companies want to recruit MBAs with social media skills because tapping into online networks can be a powerful way to learn brand sentiment, identify new opportunities, and improve customer service, according to Dorian Benkoil, founder of New York-based consulting firm Teeming Media. “It offers business an opportunity to converse with customers and learn from them.”

At INSEAD, professor Andrew Stephen says he created the course “Advertising and Social Media Strategy” shortly after joining the faculty in June 2009 to address what he saw as a need to train MBAs in nontraditional marketing techniques. The two-month course made its debut in January of this year. “My feeling was that all the B-schools were lagging behind in preparing MBA students for dealing with the new media landscape,” he says.

The INSEAD class lectures focus on thinking broadly about social media, not just Facebook and Twitter, Stephen says. Topics include the underlying psychological and sociological foundations of social media and the metrics and measurement tools for gauging the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Students are required to participate in social media marketing projects for big brands including Coca-Cola (KO), Nokia (NOK), Hermès (RMS:FP), and BMW (BMW:GR). According to Stephen, a typical project involves developing a detailed social media marketing strategy for the client.

“One of the key lessons from the whole course is that what we’re dealing with is social interactions between people and approaches companies can take to get involved in their conversations,” Stephen says. In less than six months, he says, attendance in the course more than tripled, from 27 students in January to 45 in March and 93 in May.

At London Business School, the “Internet Marketing” course also stresses hands-on learning, according to the course’s online syllabus. Students participate in the Google (GOOG) Online Marketing Challenge, running an online advertising campaign that will benefit a real business, the syllabus says. Student teams taking part in the challenge develop a strategy, assess the results of the campaign, and make recommendations for the company, according to the Google website.

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July 2010